Tony Alford talks health, readiness of Ohio State's running back room
If there was a position group with a question mark surrounding it heading into the 2020 season for Ohio State, it would’ve probably been the running backs. Not only were the Buckeyes looking to replace J.K. Dobbins, but a series of injuries to returning stars took its toll on the team’s depth at the position.
As the Oct. 24 showdown with Nebraska nears, Ohio State’s running back room appears to be getting healthier. Running backs coach Tony Alford spoke with the media about that on Tuesday.
Master Teague, who suffered from an Achilles injury over the offseason, is healthy enough to take the field for the Buckeyes, but his workload is still somewhat limited. Alford said “if we played tomorrow, he would play,” according to Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors.
Alford also said that the team is continuing to build Teague’s workload as the season nears.
Teague was Ohio State’s second-leading rusher last season, totaling 789 yards and 4 touchdowns on 135 carries.
Marcus Crowley also suffered an ACL injury and is working to get back. His status is currently unknown, after suffering a “minor setback” according to Alford. Crowley totaled 237 yards and a touchdown on 25 touches in 2019.
Oklahoma transfer Trey Sermon is the new guy in town and is expected to make an immediate impact in Columbus. Alford says the biggest thing for the former Sooner is to lower the pad level, but his long strides and “deceptive speed” should fit well into Ohio State’s offense.
The Buckeyes still have Steele Chambers in the backfield, too. Alford said he’s comfortable with putting the redshirt freshman on the field this year.
Sure, there may still be some questions about Ohio State’s running back room entering the 2020 season. But Alford seems pretty comfortable with the talent and depth the Buckeyes have heading into that Week 1 matchup against Nebraska.